10 blockchain experts you should follow in 2020
The future for blockchain industry looks bright. The industry is currently worth $3 billion and is expected to grow to $39.7 billion by 2025 with an astonishing Compound Annual Growth Rate of 67.3% between 2020 and 2025.
Moreover, blockchain came up first of LinkedIn’s most in-demand hard skills for 2020, above Cloud Computing, Data Analytics and Artificial Intelligence.
Not only specialists in the area, but also common people are getting interested in the development of the technology because they realize it might soon have an impact in their practical life.
If you want to keep up to date without spending unnecessary hours researching the subject just to stay informed, we have decided to offer our unique list of blockchain experts to follow, based on their contributions to the industry and on how much more their role can offer in the years to come.
From influencers to programmers, from investors to CEOs, there’s certainly someone valuable for you to follow and gain that substantial knowledge of what’s considered by many as the most important technology of our era after the Internet.
Start following these people right away and stay informed on the most important facts and events linked to blockchain.
1. Robert Schwertner
The founder and CEO of the cryptorobby.blog has been an advocate of blockchain technology and investor since 2015. We interviewed him on his approach to the tech and he told us of a few interesting initiatives he’s promoting in the field.
Expert on the future of Blockchain technology
I still believe that blockchain technology will change the world like the internet did. The internet has its strength with transferring of information, but it has one weakness: one cannot transfer value over the internet, it still needs units of trust like banks, companies, the government to make sure transfers of value are carried out. With blockchain technology the law is translated into code and executed at the same time.
This is so convincing, so wonderful and will help to bring a new technology jump forward: The Internet of Values, and I very much see that there is no way but blockchain as a solution. Whether blockchains will be chains of blocks in the future or other more clever solutions does not matter. We will see the Distributed Ledger Technology thrive!
Expert on the difficulties in implementing Blockchain in the organization or with clients
Difficulties in implementing blockchain technology are of several nature:
- First, technology constraints: blockchain is still an expensive, slow database. We have to work on cheaper blockchain solutions and definitely make it faster to be competitive with the present internet.
- Second, human nature: it turned out that in 2017 and 2018 a gold rush mood took over and lots of businesses turned towards blockchain and implemented their blockchain "solutions" or issued their coin or token. But blockchain is more complex which brings me to the third point.
- Third, one major learning dealing with more than 100 business concepts based in blockchain: If you take existing business models and put that on blockchain, you fail. Blockchain is not a replacement of databases nor are cryptocurrencies another way to simply replace fiat currency like the Euro or USD. That would be too easy. Blockchain unfolds its strength, when you have new greenfield business models, when there are different stakeholders with different interests involved.
2. Changpeng Zhao
Also known as CZ, is the founder and CEO of Binance, the world's largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume. Zhao was previously a member of the team that developed Blockchain.info (currently blockchain.com).
Last year he stated on Twitter:
3. Helen Disney
The “Blockchain Guru” as defined by Barclays, is a successful entrepreneur and currently the CEO of Unblocked, a hub for Blockchain events, education and information.
Unblocked Events make Blockchain technology accessible for a non-technical audience, allowing business leaders, philanthropists, investors and those in public life to harness the potential of Distributed systems and understand the emerging trends surrounding Blockchain.
Also she was listed in Innovate Finance’s 2016 Women in Fintech Powerlist.
In the past Helen founded Blockchain Intelligence, a global platform for news, networking and conferences about Blockchain and Distributed Ledgers and from 2014-2015, she worked on outreach at the Bitcoin Foundation, driving a programme of strategic events to communicate the innovative potential of Bitcoin and Blockchain technology to innovators, entrepreneurs, policymakers and thought leaders.
Expert on blockchain technology in 2020:
2020 has to be blockchain’s moment to shine. The global pandemic has accelerated the need for solutions that are decentralised, can enable users’ data privacy and, in a world of remote working, can be used by anyone from anywhere. Blockchain and DLT can be applied in healthcare data management, in monitoring of the spread of Covid-19, in efficiently distributing government funds to businesses and individuals in need, for meeting environmental goals and many more places besides. If we miss the opportunity to use blockchain to alleviate these problems at a time of great social upheaval, we will have truly lost an opportunity to change our world for the better long-term.
4. Tim Draper
Tim is an American venture capital investor, and founder of several different types of companies, from Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Draper University, and Draper Venture Network, to Draper Associates, and Draper Goren Holm.
In July 2014, Draper received wide coverage for his purchase at a US Marshals Service auction of seized bitcoins from the Silk Road marketplace website. Draper is a major proponent of Bitcoin and decentralization.
He’s also the author of bestseller book How to be the Startup Hero - A Guide and Textbook for Entrepreneurs.
5. Elizabeth Stark
Is a blockchain entrepreneur, educator, crypto startups advisor. She is co-founder and CEO of Lightning Labs, where she is building a programmable financial layer for the internet through fast, scalable blockchain transactions.
Elizabeth is also a fellow at Coin Center, the leading digital currency policy organization, and an advisor at Chia, a company building a new blockchain protocol based on proof of space and time.
Stark previously taught at Stanford and Yale University about the future of the internet, and was a visiting fellow at Yale’s Information Society Project. Elizabeth played an instrumental role in the Internet freedom effort that defeated SOPA/PIPA, engaging 18 million people worldwide. She has advised startups ranging from decentralized technology to AI and was an entrepreneur-in-residence at Stanford StartX. Stark holds a J.D. from Harvard.
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6. Barbara Bickham
Barbara has 25+ years of experience in technologies ranging from IoT, Blockchain, Augmented Reality, and Artificial Intelligence. She’s co-founder and Managing Director of WIF AX LLC, a fund accelerator for women’s innovation. She’s also the founder and CTO of Trailyn Ventures, an advisory company for tech start-ups around the world.
7. Erica Stanford
Founder of the Crypto Curry Club aka the UK's no. 1 rated networking and educational events aka the place to be in London (or Bristol, Oxford, Cambridge, and coming soon to Edinburgh and Glasgow) for blockchain, digital currency, crypto, payments, AI, and tech for sustainability.
Crypto Curry Club- lunch and invite-only dinner are networking events on Blockchain with industry leading speakers and over 1000 of the key people working in blockchain in the UK as members, over curry.
Expert on the blockchain predictions for 2020
More enterprises than ever before are looking at or already using blockchain in everything from managing their supply chain, shipping, logistics, finance or in traceability, to prove the origin and authenticity of products ranging from food to clothing to diamonds and minerals.
We're seeing more institutional acceptance and adoption of cryptocurrency, particularly with governments discussing national digital currencies. China are going ahead with their national digital currency and other countries are taking note and are exploring issuing their own national digital currencies, which would potentially be blockchain based.
Cryptocurrency is also being more and more accepted for its role in facilitating transparent micropayments, and is being used in industries such as insurance, remittances, as well as being discussed for handouts of government money and in digital rights management and pay per use for content
There are still a lot of misunderstandings around crypto and blockchain but more and more people are seeing the many use cases and practical applications of blockchain - it is also important to bear in mind that blockchain isn't the only technology, but when partnered with other emerging technologies, such as IOT for example, can bring real benefit to many industries .
8. Mark Parzygnat
Mark is another prominent specialist in the industry. He is an Offering Manager for the IBM Blockchain, an evangelist for open source technology, and blockchain for business technologies. Mark enjoys developing new innovative solutions based on the IBM Blockchain platform and Hyperledger Fabric and we talked about this in our brief interview:
Expert on the top benefits blockchain brought to IBM
There are many benefits, but let me hit on 3 of them:
- First, it is the complete end to end easy to use experience that IBM brings. This starts with the VSCode extension (Visual Studio is an integrated development environment from Microsoft, used to develop computer programs, as well as websites, web apps, web services and mobile apps) for quick development of smart contracts and applications for a developer.
- Second, is the set of easy to use tooling from the IBM Blockchain Platform for building, operating, monitoring and growing your network.
- Third, and probably one of the most challenging technical achievements is our multi-cloud deployment capability. This means you have the ability to deploy anywhere an IBM cloud or another cloud hosting provider that has Kubernetes 1.11 or higher with the same look and feel regardless of location of deployment of components.
This provides true and vast diffusion of a distributed ledger technology. In addition it provides the ability to manage and operate all the nodes regardless of where they are deployed from a single console.
Expert on recruitment blockchain developers - why there are still too few blockchain experts
So SDKs were created, and continue to be developed by the community to grow adoption. This enables developers to quickly get up to speed and develop in a level of comfort.
9. Paul Brody
Is responsible for driving EY’s initiatives and investments in blockchain technology across consulting, audit, and tax business lines.
Paul held a number of leadership positions in the areas of IoT (Internet of Things), supply chain and operations and business strategy, working with client organizations such as HP, Samsung, Huawei, Apple, Sony, Panasonic, Ericsson, Nokia, to name a few.
His specialties include consumer electronics business strategy, mobile telecommunications, product design, supply chain and operations management.
10. Alex Tapscott
Alex is a globally-recognized writer, speaker, investor and advisor focused on the impact of emerging technologies, such as blockchain and cryptocurrencies, on business, society and government.
He is the co-author of Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin and Other Cryptocurrencies is Changing the World, which has been translated into more than 15 languages.
His TedX San Francisco talk: Blockchain is Eating Wall Street Has been viewed over 600,000 times.
In 2017, Alex co-founded the Blockchain Research Institute, a multi-million-dollar think-tank that is investigating blockchain strategies, opportunities and use-cases.
As a blockchain company, Ulam Labs is following many prominent experts from the blockchain industry and those presented in this article are the ones that shine in 2020 for different reasons. We also serve as a source of information, so if you would like to deepen your knowledge on blockchain or ask about your product in blockchain technology, get in touch!